Pfizer debuts depression management support app


Biopharmaceutical company Pfizer is offering a free app to help patients manage depression and share progress with care providers.

The Moodivator app was not developed as a treatment tool, but as a support and motivational program, according to an announcement. One in 15 U.S. adults experience at least one major depression event, states the announcement. The app allows users to establish mental health goals, as well as track mood changes.

“As awareness of the magnitude and severity of depression continues to mount, technology like the Moodivator app represents a new and exciting frontier for helping people with depression," Susan Kornstein, M.D., professor of psychiatry at Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine, said in the announcement. "The option to set, track and achieve personal goals in the Moodivator app ties in nicely with cognitive behavioral therapy techniques that I use often with my patients.”

Pfizer is not the only organizations developing mental health apps and services. St. Louis counseling center Provident is expanding its digital mental illness prevention and treatment toolkit via apps. In addition, telemedicine provider Teladoc is growing its own behavioral health programs, as is American Well. 

Earlier this month, Steven Chan, M.D., wrote in a blog post that while many doctors often are wary of recommending apps focused on mental health issues, even ones that are not the cream of the crop can prove helpful.